By Robyn Makelki
Run a 1/2 marathon, yah right! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I could finish and live to tell about it. I was always led to believe that I was not athletic and couldn’t do such things. That was until I walked through the doors at level 10 and Laura thought otherwise.
To be honest, I started at Level 10 because there was really no commitment I could pay per class and not have to worry about a yearly contract or trying to figure out when and how to work out on my own. I was prepared to fail. That was January 2011. I discovered the structured classes were just what I needed. After enjoying having my butt kicked kettlebell class the first few times, I decided I needed more.
I dragged my sister and mom along with me too and we started to come on Fridays as well and Laura hasn’t been able to get rid of us since. Every time we have come to Level 10 we are greeted with a new challenge. I have done many fitness classes in the past and had a gym membership that I used once or twice but never has anyone ever taken the time to show the proper way to train. Wow what a difference that makes. It has become my new addiction. The time where I can test myself to see what I am truly made of. For the past couple of years we have participated in mainly classes with Laura but we have had the pleasure to train with other staff members and have had rewarding experience with all of them. Laura has been a very good judge of when to push us and how to keep us motivated, coming up with new goals and ideas of things we should do. When she said to me one class, “I have a plan for you, ” I thought she was crazy! She suggested that I could participate in the See Jane Tri. I felt sick and a bit overwhelmed. Why would she think that I could do such a thing? But that was just the beginning. I thought, “Well, if she thinks I could do something like that, then I better work my butt off to prove her right!” The time came for See Jane Tri and the old negative thoughts had popped back in my head, they took over, and I chickened out. I know, boo! After a self-inflicted pity party, I realized that it was time to do something big. After all, Laura had always believed that I could do it; why couldn’t I see it? So, with the encouragement and support of my husband and 3 kids, I did it. I signed up for a Disney World 1/2 marathon; I managed to convince my sister to join me too! Laura was pumped. Not once did she say anything doubtful or anything that would make us believe we couldn’t achieve this goal. She wasn’t even worried that we couldn’t do it. She was even there for us from the time we waited anxiously in our starting corral to the moment we crossed the finish line, sending us texts of encouragement and tracking our race: always believing, always encouraging, always motivating! Well here I am at the age of 30, and I finally received my very first medal for participating in a sport. A sport that I had never even heard about 2 years ago. A sport that 2 years ago would have been out of the question. A sport that I just competed in. My very first starting line, and even more exciting, my first ever finish line. So once again we were at level 10 for yet another exciting training session with Laura, just 3 days after completing our first 1/2 marathon. She looks over at us and says, ” So, what’s next”?
By Terry Oehler
Here I am having just finished walking the Saskatchewan Half Marathon in Saskatoon on May 24th –13 miles in 2 hours 50 minutes! My goal was to finish in less than 3 hours.
A large part of what I do revolves around helping people focus on what’s important to them. One successful strategy is to delegate as many things to others as you can so that you can spend your time doing what you do best (or the things you really enjoy doing!) However, there are certain things in life one can’t delegate to others – staying healthy is one of those.
In October, 2007 I delegated to my husband, Bill, the task of finding me a great personal trainer. He was successful and I started working with Dan Yaskowich at Level 10. WHEW! Was that ever tough! I convinced Bill that he should join me and now we both go three times a week at 6 a.m. 18 months later, I’m in the best physical condition of my life. I feel better, I’m stronger, I sleep better, and day-to-day I have more energy.
I wanted to share my success with you because I couldn’t have done this without delegation and commitment. I delegated my health to a great professional and I committed to follow his advice. Progress was slow and steady; there were (and still are!) lots of aches and pains…but it is all worth it!
I encourage you to think of one thing that is really important to you and start taking steps to make it happen. You’ll be really glad you did!
The Life Changing Experience
By Kathy Hendren
The biggest person in the room. For most of my adult life, that’s what I was; at least that’s what it always felt like. Over the past 18 years I had let myself balloon to over 250 lbs. I hated it! Oh sure I had always tried to loose the weight, and I’m sure I had tried every “quick-fix” and even the legit weight loss plans out there, and had faithfully paid my dues to the gym I had a membership at for all those years but almost never used. Periodically I had “little” successes, but I always failed and spent all those years yo-yoing my way up to 250 lbs, even reaching 260 at one time.
I was tired of people telling me that maybe I was just meant to be like that and I should accept it and just be happy. I don’t know how anyone could believe that, but they had seen me fail so many times, I don’t think anyone thought I would ever actually succeed. But I knew I had to and that one day I would find something that would work for me, so I refused to give up. I would keep trying until I did succeed.
In August, 2008 I went to Level 10 just to get some information on their Stepping Stones program. When I went, I was terrified – I really didn’t think I belonged there. I thought I was so out of my league. And I knew my history; it was one of “failure.” Thankfully they proved me wrong.
Stepping Stones and Level 10 has changed my life. Being an overweight person in a gym is not easy on the confidence, but at Level 10, I had a sense of belonging in the Stepping Stones program, and was always supported, motivated and encouraged by the trainers and staff. Not only did they help me get fit, but they also helped me change my eating habits and set goals. I hated to see the 12 weeks end as I knew I had found something that was working for me. I had reached my 30lb weight loss goal but still had a long way to go.
To help keep me motivated, I set a new goal - to do the See-Jane Tri the next June, and continued at Level 10 with a small adult group, various fitness and spin classes and added swimming and some running into the mix. I did the Tri – as a much healthier person, and 80 lbs lighter.
When I started at Level 10, I was a very unhealthy 250 lbs, I couldn’t run on the treadmill for even a minute or make it through a 20 minute spin class. Today, I am almost 90 lbs lighter, much healthier, and I can do an hour fitness class and then an hour and a half spin. People ask me why I do it. I used to answer because I have to, now I say because I LOVE it. Not only has going to Level 10 changed my life, but it has changed life style. It’s just what I do now.
I had spent the past 18 years telling my daughter to always believe in herself and that with desire, determination, and dedication she could achieve any of her goals. Last year, I stopped telling her and finally showed her!
By Sophie Yannitsos
George and I want you to know how much we have enjoyed training at your facility these past 5 years. Besides our exemplary trainer Brendan, each time we walk through the doors of your facility it exhumes a feeling of acceptance, inclusiveness, and professional demeanor. Your staff always takes the time to smile, say hello, and on many occasions ask specifically how our day is going. I am a firm believer that professionalism breeds likewise, but most importantly they are simply good people who love their jobs which in turn makes us love being there. Personally, I have accomplished so many goals since coming to level 10, goals that I never thought I would be reaching at 44 years young. Before training with ‘once again’ Brendan and Lindsay before that, I have managed to run in 10k races, skate ski a couple (not too fast however), learn to ride a road bike, rediscover my love for kayaking and the outdoors, and most importantly added balance to my life. The long and short of it is….I’m happy, content, strong, healthy, and weigh the same that I did before babies. I know that you are running a business; however, we have never felt gouged or taken advantage of financially. What you have provided for us is a healthy and energizing way to live. We wish you and your staff health and happiness. We hope that this week of acknowledgment of your profession is echoed for you every week. Please pass on to your staff a thank you for being weavers of connectedness in their own interactive and inimitable way.
By Delphine Lepage
For as long as I can remember, I have always been slightly overweight. I loved sports but never pursued them the way I wanted to because I often felt self-conscious and insecure about my weight.
For most of my adult life, I was overweight as well. Trying several different diet plans, I successfully lost weight periodically, however, never permanently. Over the past 20 years, I continued to gradually gain; finally reaching a high of 221 lbs. Exercise did not exist during this part of my life.
With extremely high blood pressure, and my cardiologist’s warnings, I reached a critical turning point. I had to make a change to save my life. Reluctant, and rather skeptical that I could do it at 61 years of age, I embarked upon my journey at Level 10 in January 2012.
My trainer, Steffa MacLinctock, had an immediate impact on my life. She believed in me and helped build my confidence, all the while challenging me in a non-judgemental and caring way. Her workouts were so innovative and motivating that I could hardly wait for the next session. I just couldn’t seem to get enough! Steffa’s outgoing personality and her sense of humour also made the sessions so enjoyable.
Steffa’s own passion and drive to excel, further inspired and motivated me. It wasn’t long before I was registering for spin classes at 6:00 a.m. twice a week as well, and I am definitely not an early morning person. If anyone had told me in January that I would be running races, I would have told them that they were crazy. But, I have now completed a 4km walk, a 5km run and two 10 km runs. I am also registered to do the QCM half marathon walk. This is only the beginning for me as I have many more goals to reach next year.
Now, I live to exercise! It has become an important priority in my life and it is the first thing I schedule on my calendar. My other activities revolve around my workouts. I feel 30 years younger and am in the best shape of my life! To date, I have lost 71.6lbs and I am only 8lbs. away from reaching my goal. I am now off of two of my heart medications and hope to have my other medications further reduced.
What I found so different about Level 10 was their professionalism. The trainers are extremely committed to helping their clients reach their personal goals. I was so impressed by their expertise and knowledge. What sets them apart is their excellent explanations and demonstrations, their attention to detail, their patience, their friendly smiles and greetings and their positive attitude towards their clients. It is not easy for an overweight person to enter a gym full of athletic bodies and intimidating exercise machines!
At Level 10, the impossible became possible. My trainer, Steffa, not only equipped me with what I needed to succeed, she helped me get my life back. I am the exact opposite of what I once was. I will be forever grateful to Level 10 and to one very special trainer.
Thanks for Watching My Back
By Craig Adam
I’ve always been active in sports, but with that activity came lower back pain. I failed to realize the importance of a strong core. Since working out at Level 10, my fitness level has never been better and I can honestly say the back pain is gone thanks to a stronger core. Warren has taken the time and effort to improve my weaknesses, set goals, and ultimately help me reach my goals. I have completed 5 full marathons since 2000, with the most recent in December 2010 in Las Vegas. It was a personal best for me and I can attribute that PB to Level 10 Fitness. This time, I made the conscious effort to train less with respect to the daily pounding of running.
In the past, I found the traditional marathon training programs too hard on my body and felt I had to do something different. Warren developed a plan that concentrated on core, back and cardio and at the same time, improved my overall strength. With my body much stronger and well rested, I ran a personal best. The greatest result of all was my post-race recovery was the fastest ever and I was injury free. My previous personal best was the very first marathon I completed when I was 10 years younger! Thanks to Warren at Level 10 for ‘watching my back’.